Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids could help people maintain healthy brain function as they age, says study published in Neurology.
Omega-3 fatty acids include the nutrients called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
"People with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower brain volumes that were equivalent to about two years of structural brain aging," said study author Zaldy S. Tan, MD, MPH, of the Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research and the Division of Geriatrics, University of California at Los Angeles.
For the study, 1,575 people with an average age of 67 and free of dementia underwent MRI brain scans. They were also given tests that measured mental function, body mass and the omega-3 fatty acid levels in their red blood cells.